Today some 500 or more young lay leaders, pastors, staff, church planters and potential church planters gathered here in Cape Town at Common Ground Church to hear Tim Keller speak on the themes of The Importance and Priority of Cities For Gospel Ministry, The Distinctives of Urban Church Planting and How the Gospel Should Impact the Society and Culture in which we live. Tonight more than 5000 will gather to hear him speak on The Prodigal God. In effect both events are sowing the seeds of Gospel-centered theology and Gospel-driven church ministry. To all outward appearance the seeds fell on fertile ground. The listeners were very receptive, asking very perceptive questions throughout the day. With all the work that has gone into laying the foundation of a new movement of church planting in Cape Town and the surrounding area over the last three years, we are hopeful about the prospects of seeing that movement gain great momentum.
There are some amazing churches in the area, already given to evangelistic ministry and solid Christian discipleship. But their testimony is that this is what they needed to vault them ahead in re-reaching the city for Christ. In the coming months we will be helping to form a trans-denominational network of church planters and church planting churches that will be committed to planting churches in every neighborhood of the city and among every people group, class and ethnicity.
We are expecting even larger numbers of church leaders to attend a similar event in Johannesburg on Monday. There, too, we are hoping to help develop a network of churches and church planters that will plants dozens of churches in Soweto, Johannesburg, Thembesa and Pretoria, a metropolitan area that has a population of more than 16 million people and is rapidly growing.